Event Scientific training

Introduction to Python for Biologists 2020

This introductory level course will be delivered virtually, and is intended for people with a biological background but with no previous programming experience. The course introduces basic programming concepts with plenty of time to practice writing code and work on your own data.

Start date: 08 June 2020
End date: 19 June 2020
Time: 08h00 - 12h30
Venue: Online (via Zoom)
Organiser: Emily Angiolini
Registration deadline: 31 May 2020
Cost: £400

About the event

About the event

Python is a dynamic, readable language that is a popular platform for all types of bioinformatics work, from simple one-off scripts to large, complex software projects. This workshop is aimed at complete beginners and assumes no prior programming experience. It gives an overview of the language with an emphasis on practical problem-solving, using examples and exercises drawn from various aspects of bioinformatics work. The workshop is structured so that the parts of the language most useful for bioinformatics are introduced as early as possible, and that students can start writing plausibly-useful programs after the first few sessions.

After completing the workshop, students should be in a position to:

(1) apply the skills they have learned to tackling problems in their own research, and;

(2) continue their Python education in a self-directed way.

This event will now be delivered virtually due to COVID-19, and the fee and schedule have been updated accordingly. See further details on the structure below, and for any further questions contact training@earlham.ac.uk

  • The programme will be delivered over ten days, from Monday 8 June - Friday 19 June, weekdays only.
  • On each day there will be 3.5 hours of live input (via zoom) from the trainer (9:00-12:30 GMT, including breaks).
  • Morning sessions will comprise:
    • Lectures (any lectures/input will be recorded and made available to participants as soon as possible that day).
    • Practical exercises, with the trainer on hand to assist and offer 1-1 support.
  • A slack channel will be open during the afternoon for adhoc questions for the trainer.
  • Participants are welcome to continue to work on materials during the afternoons, but this is non-compulsory.
  • There will be an optional ‘drop in’ session each day between 15:30-16:00 GMT (via zoom), which participants may join if they wish to ask further questions or discuss.
  • There will be no teaching/input during this half hour session.
  • See the ‘further information’ tab to check what is required from participants.

"Extremely useful and approachable way to learn a new language. I definitely love the way how Martin teaches and the logics to show the computing language."

~ Introduction to Python course attendee, July 2018

"Really excellent. I learned so much and have never loved coding so much."

Introduction to Python course attendee, April 2017

Please see here for a detailed syllabus of the course.

Course prerequisites/target audience:

This workshop is aimed at researchers and technical workers with a background in biology, but no previous programming experience.

Students should have enough biological/bioinformatics background to appreciate the examples and exercise problems (i.e. they should know what a protein accession number, BLAST report, and FASTA sequence is). The syllabus has been planned with complete beginners to programming in mind, so no particular computer skills (beyond the ability to use a text editor) are necessary. 

During the workshop students will use their own laptops. Instructions for any software to be installed will be sent out prior to the course.

Looking for more advanced training? See our Advanced Python for Biologists 2020 course.

If you are unsure about the suitability of this course for your needs, questions can be directed to Martin Jones.

About the trainer:

Martin started his programming career by learning Perl during the course of his PhD in evolutionary biology, and started teaching other people to program soon after. Since then he has taught introductory programming to hundreds of biologists, from undergraduates to PIs, and has maintained a philosophy that programming courses must be friendly, approachable, and practical.

In his academic career, Martin mixed research and teaching at the University of Edinburgh, culminating in a two year stint as Lecturer in Bioinformatics. He now runs programming courses for biological researchers as a full time freelancer.

Register today.

Registration deadline: 31 May 2020

Participation: First come, first served